Merlin The Magician

“At the moment we’ve got 16 first team players. My initials stand for Mick McCarthy, not Merlin the Magician.” Said Mick McCarthy after taking over at Wolves from Glenn Hoddle in 2006.

The bonus of having a Mick McCarthy quote in my blog means I will get at least seven views on this post.  Paul WME is contractually obliged to comment on all things Wolves whilst Martin and Hermit, being from Sheffield and Rotherham respectively, can look on enviously at McCarthy’s Barnsley roots as THE tourist area in Sheffield. Marty Bear, the Travelling Barman and Carl will also feel obliged to vent anti Wolves spleen whilst Russ will think Merlin the Magician has some subversive meaning related to Finbarr Saunders.

Anyway, I digress…McCarthy may well have been a magician at Molineux as he guided Wolves to the Premier League with his small squad and I reckon Derby fans would love some no nonsense Barnsley wizardry at present.

Living in Derby I am besieged by stressed out Rams fans who fear the drop into Division Three (pre 1992). Although last week’s defeat against Birmingham’s biggest club surely came as no surprise.

(lacings with my beer please)

If they lose their last two games there is a real possibility that Pride Park will be hosting the likes of Accrington Stanley, Fleetwood Town and even Leon’s Tranmere Rovers and The Wickingman’s Burton Albion.

But the only sign of any magic in Derby at present is the moniker of 619 – The Merlin DE24 8XL on a business park overlooking Derby’s impressive stadium.

It’s one of those new build types with a view of the ground and the Velodrome (shades of Birmingham Library) from the beer garden.

When I popped in for a pint at just after 6 on a Thursday I was amazed at how full it was.

In fact, since we’ve come out of lockdown I’ve not been in a pub on my own despite the fact this was Baltic and it looks like punters are voting with their feet.

Maybe it is the fact there are less pubs open?  I don’t know but apart from the fact I haven’t seen a beermat, pubs are feeling decidedly retro at the minute.

Take this place for instance; no need to book just rock up and zap your app and the friendly, helpful barmaid took me to a table. 

We spoke about the app but after a minute of faffing I just said “I just want a pint of Green King IPA,” (possibly for the first time ever!).

(it’s cold but I’m out, out, out..)

She laughed and said no problem and brought it over as quick as Derby’s plummet down the league table.  There are lots of smokers at present with beer gardens the only option and I think that is why it feels so reassuringly eighties/nineties in pubs.

Throw into the mix loads of friendly punters, blokes in jogging flannels, no socks and shoes, as well as couples so excited about returning to the pub they go from this

…to this after just one pint of Greene King IPA…

then it really might be magic at The Merlin.

Surprisingly pubby and the closest boozer (of sorts) to Derby’s ground, this place attracts lots of Hi Viz jackets and workers from the vast business park…

#Savepubs #pubsareback and if there are around 50 punters in a Hungry Horse pub on a Thursday night then these are heady times indeed.

30 thoughts on “Merlin The Magician

  1. “Im out, out, out” ha ha!

    As a non smoker I’d never really thought of that, but it’s a valid point I guess! I’m also very much a fan of the no booking requirement. For brewery taps I can understand & accept the booking system, but pubs rightly should be first come first serve in my opinion, even if you did have il wait for a table, I’m sure you wouldn’t be waiting much longer than 10 minutes even in a busy pub.

    Always liked McCarthy myself, or “thick Mick” as Baggie fans coined him after he was sacked after the infamous 1-5 humiliation. Never quite PL material but did great jobs at Sunderland, Wolves & Ipswich in the championship. Always seemed to hold down his position longer than the average lifespan of a football manager. Of course, his biggest achievement surely was taking ROI to the world cup in 2002.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree re pubs as booking does seem unnecessary and if people are having a tot they’ll generally move on after a couple of hours maximum
      I always liked McCarthy and he did a good job at Wolves… is he better than Allardyce?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I spent exactly 3 hours in the Sheffield Fat Cat yesterday, a rare occasion when company, conversation, cask and climate converged. It was wonderful, though I regret it this morning.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. See, now this is what I like. I’ve been absent since late Sunday but luckily this is your first post since then. Of course, I’m behind by almost a dozen I gather with Martin! 😉

    “The bonus of having a Mick McCarthy quote in my blog means I will get at least seven views on this post.”

    Of which one of them will NOT be mine. 🙂

    “whilst Russ will think Merlin the Magician has some subversive meaning related to Finbarr Saunders.”

    Oh I say! Well done sir! (hoisted by my own petard).

    Just so you know though, I wasn’t sure what the current mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee had to do with this. 😉
    (Google over here brings him up first, not the comic fellow from your side of the pond) 🙂

    Oh, and… (slow golf clap) 🙂

    “and even Leon’s Tranmere Rovers and The Wickingman’s Burton Albion.”

    Burn!

    “But the only sign of any magic in Derby at present is the moniker of 619 – The Merlin DE24 8XL on a business park overlooking Derby’s impressive stadium.”

    Nice segue, and definitely at least a half slow golf clap. 🙂

    “When I popped in for a pint at just after 6 on a Thursday I was amazed at how full it was.”

    Martin would sadly agree, but only because he was stymied by pubs being full and couldn’t get in.

    “Maybe it is the fact there are less pubs open? I don’t know but apart from the fact I haven’t seen a beermat, pubs are feeling decidedly retro at the minute.”

    I’m sure outside only drinking plays a part.

    “and the friendly, helpful barmaid took me to a table. ”

    Are you sure your ‘(lacings with my beer please)” from further up shouldn’t have gone here?

    “I just said “I just want a pint of Green King IPA,” (possibly for the first time ever!).”

    Hey, it could have been John Smith’s Smooth instead. 😉

    Oh, and just in passing; I have a fellow I know online from gaming (D2) who lives 5 miles from the Greene King brewery. It’s his favourite tipple. 🙂

    “She laughed and said no problem and brought it over as quick as Derby’s plummet down the league table.”

    Blimey. It might have been cold out but you’re on fire!

    (slow golf clap) 🙂

    “no socks and shoes,”

    Which means, no socks with shoes? 😉

    “then it really might be magic at The Merlin.”

    I think they were just keeping each other warm. 😉

    “#Savepubs #pubsareback and if there are around 50 punters in a Hungry Horse pub on a Thursday night then these are heady times indeed.”

    Just wait till May 17th or June 21st (or whatever the next two magical dates are). 🙂

    Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Like Russtovich, being an old cynic I read that photo love story as:

    “Fookin’ ell, I’m bleedin’ frozen here, can we go!”
    “Ee, come ere and have a cuddle, I’ll get ya warm duck”
    “That’s better ya big lump”
    “Now, get the round in…”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Morning Beermat – I’ll hold fire on any Wolves gloating for now as we have a certain Black Country Derby on Monday evening and our recent performances don’t bode well for getting any points at the Hawthorns. I’m not sure I’ll be adding the Merlin to my Derby targets even though the views of Pride Park are tempting, the Greene King IPA will be safe from me for a while yet. Cheers, Paul

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes mate there are many better walks and pubs to be had but … in my quest to tick off as many as possible… this was the perfect fit!!! Unusually reticent re the Wolves Paul but, on current form, probably a wise move

      Like

  5. BB I’ve just done some research on Merlin and amongst the descriptions of him are that he is a man of mystery, magic, controversy and contradiction which arguably could also be applied to this blog !!

    I’m quite alarmed to see that sweat tops and jogging bottoms (aka lounge wear) looks to have made the seamless tradition from Zoom calls to the pub !!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post – but just a small point of order Beermat….Barnsley isn’t in Sheffield (or Rotherham) – it’s a safe distance further up the M1… 😉

    Looking positively on Rotherham’s almost certain relegation to League One – it’s where we’re happiest and we won’t have to play a local derby with Barnsley.

    Not that I’ve got anything against Barnsley of course – lovely place – and my dear late Dad came from Darton – one of Barnsley’s finest suburbs.

    Jogging flannel man is probably just like many men of a certain age – with a wardrobe depicting the history of fashion over the last 3 to 4 decades. I know mine does (and RM has also admitted it recently) – though to try look trendy I wear my sons cast offs now… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed😀

        You’ll probably wonder reading my blog intro/profile whether they are mainly druids robes ( different styles of course)

        Liked by 1 person

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